Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Comeback Kid

Lede of the Month, courtesy of Ohio's Greatest Home Newspaper:

Husted neuters prayer policy
Speaker won't review content

While it's not quite the Second Coming, Jesus could make a comeback in the Ohio House of Representatives.

1) "Not quite" the Second Coming? News flash: When you see fiery lambs, 80-foot-tall simulacra of pestilence and famine on horseback, and Bowls o'Boils being poured out across the land, then you can write about the Second Coming. Until then, shut up and cover the legislature.
2) He'll be with you in a second. He has to stop in across 4th Street and kick some butts first.
3) Dude's already got the beard. If you thought it was easy to make Max Cleland morph into Bin Laden, wait'll you see this ad campaign.
4) He's WHAT???
5) Some ledes can simply be removed with no damage whatsoever to the actual news content that follows. This is one. Proceed with the text and see:

Four months after instituting a crackdown on guest prayers given prior to* each Ohio House session, Speaker Jon A. Husted has reversed his position and no longer will act as the "policeman of prayer."

House guidelines require that prayers be turned in to the clerk three days ahead of time, and stress that content should be nondenominational and nonsectarian, avoiding contentious subject matter.

The words will officially remain, Husted said, but after hearing complaints from members of his caucus and several people across Ohio this summer, he won't enforce the policy anymore.

"If people want to know what we would like, we will give them the guidelines," the Kettering Republican said yesterday. "But we're not going to get into the business of censuring people, and I use the term censuring because that's how it was perceived by some."

I bet the term he used was "censoring,"** not "censuring." But I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the hed is up to. He's "neutering" the prayer policy, but he's doing so by giving prayer a double testosterone with a beer chaser? The Ohio House prayer policy has a cold, and he wants it to go take a shot of malaria?

Enough. When writers are clueless enough to submit ledes like that, do 'em a favor. Take the lede out and shoot it.

* Don't say "prior to" when you can say "before." Latin's dead. Throw strikes.
** He does seem the sort who would get civility mixed up with censorship, doesn't he?



Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

He's neutering the policy. The policy controlled prayer. Thus, prayer is now uncontrolled.

And given the lede, I'll bet you anything it wasn't Hindus or Muslims who felt "censored". If I live in Ohio, I'd be waiting for the first full-on Christian prayer, and the fallout therefrom.

12:47 PM, October 10, 2007  
Anonymous raYb said...

But Mr. Moderator, sir, you're attempting to prevent a Writer from doing any writing, expressing himself, with phrases that passeth understanding of cutesyness. But seriously, as ledes in OGHN go, this is nowhere near the top for cutesyness. Don't forget "A tisket, a tasket, a pocketful of Poseys is filling Easter baskets" about a family named Posey that whiled away early spring days decorating Easter baskets. Said scribe was later made a columnist.

10:40 AM, October 11, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

Who's calling me a moderator over there?

8:59 PM, October 11, 2007  

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